Nokia Acquires Twango

Nokia has acquired Twango for a reportedly $90M. Twango is a social networking site focused on media sharing (videos, photos, etc.). It will be interesting to see what changes are made to the service to better align it with Nokia’s N-series multimedia computers. I still have not signed up for the service.

“The Twango acquisition is a concrete step towards our consumer Internet services vision of providing seamless access to information, entertainment, and social networks – at any time, anywhere, from any connected device, in any way that you choose. We have the most complete suite of connected multimedia experiences including music, navigation, games, and – with the Twango acquisition – photos, videos, and a variety of document types,” said Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Multimedia, Nokia. “When you combine a Nokia N-series multimedia computer that is always on, always connected, and always with you together with a rich media sharing destination like Twango, people will have exciting new ways to create and enjoy rich media experiences in real time.”

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You can read the entire press release here.

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BlackBerry 8820 Wi-Fi Released (in the UK)

RIM released the BlackBerry 8820, for now only in the UK, which the company intends to compete with Apple’s iPhone. Besides Wi-Fi, the new 8820 includes built-in GPS navigation, expandable memory, voice-dialing, BlackBerry Maps (provided by Telenav), and a high capacity battery, among others. One interesting bit is the mention of Steve Jobs by co-CEO Mike Lazaridis, during an annual shareholders meeting.

RIM President and Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said yesterday the attention Steve Jobs and Apple’s iPhone has brought to the sector has benefited the company.

“Hats off to Mr Jobs for growing the whole industry,” Lazaridis said at RIM’s annual shareholder meeting in Canada.

“We all knew the smartphone market was growing. Some of us believe that eventually all phones will be smartphones. I think what the iPhone announcement did was that it just accelerated the public’s awareness and acceptance of a smartphone.”

The BlackBerry 8820 will be available in the US through AT&T later this summer. I personally don’t think this device will disappoint. Having used BlackBerries before (my last one was the BlackBerry Pearl), I know that CrackBerry addicts are eagerly awaiting this device. It further shows RIM’s shift into making more consumer-friendly Berries, which they were previously hesitant to do.

Via: ZDNet

Nokia Adds Skype to N800 Tablet

On Wednesday, Nokia released a software update for its N800 tablet to add Skype. The software can be downloaded directly from Nokia’s site. Although it took Nokia six months to deliver this update, I’m sure N800 users will rejoice.

Via: Yahoo! Tech

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iPods Hit by Lightning

Listen to your iPod in a storm and the result could be a lightning strike. There are reports of several people who’ve been hit by lightning while listening to iPods or using other kinds of electronic devices.

Contrary to some urban legends and media reports, electronic devices don’t attract lightning the way a tall tree or a lightning rod does.

When lightning jumps from a nearby object to a person, it often flashes over the skin. But metal in electronic devices — or metal jewelry or coins in a pocket — can cause contact burns and exacerbate the damage.

Now, this is some scary stuff!

In another case a few years ago, electric current from a lightning strike ran through a man’s pager, burning both him and his girlfriend who was leaning against him, said Dr. Vince Mosesso, an emergency doctor at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Via: Yahoo! Tech

Nokia’s DVB-H Standard Has Backing of EU

The EU is backing Nokia’s own DVB-H standard for mobile TV. The EU is seeking to have a single standard as opposed to other nations with several standards.

Wireless Week reports that the EU intends to add DVB-H to its published list of standards in mid-July.

“I know that competition among different standards can, for some time, be a good way to let the market identify the best solution,” EC telecommunications regulator Viviane Reding told an industry conference. “But we have been waiting too long. The opportunities are slipping away. It is time to break the deadlock.”

The article also mentions that DVB-H has a strong support in the US. I can’t wait for MobileTV service to really take off in the US but that won’t happen until we have 3G networks widely available throughout the country.

New BlackBerry Browser?

BlackBerryCool reports of a new BlackBerry browser in the works, to be released just in time for the Pearl 2 launch. According to the anonymous informant who provided the scoop to BBCool, the new browser will support tab browsing and also favicon.ico support.

“There is also a new browser “home screen” that sports a listed history (with favicon.ico support, no less) and “search provider” functionality, courtesy of Google, Yahoo, Dictionary.com, IMDb.com, and Wikipedia.”

My question is, how about a browser that displays the real web page, like Opera Mini or the S60 browser? Is that too much to ask?

From Print to the Screen: Newspapers to the BlackBerry

You already do almost everything with your BlackBerry device, why not read your favorite newspapers on it while you’re at it? The folks at BlackBerryCool have a post about PressDisplay, a software now available for BlackBerry devices that will allow you to have access to more than 500 newspapers in 70 countries and 36 languages, all for $29.95/month.

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More Details on the iPhone

Engadget has posted some more details about the iPhone. The scoop comes from someone who has spent a lot of time with a pre-launch unit. Some of my worries appear to have some foundation. For example, I worry how the touch keyboard will respond to two-handed typing and the touchscreen. Here is what they had to say about them:

“The keyboard was simply described as “disappointing”. Keyboarding with two thumbs often registers multiple key presses (two or three at a time) resulting in a lot of mistakes. The best way to type is with a single finger (as shown in most of Apple’s demos), but two thumbs is supposedly very difficult. After trying it for a number of days our source gave up using their thumbs.”

“The touchscreen was said to, in general, require somewhat hard presses to register input, and needs some getting used to. “

Read the article here.

The iPhone Effect

We all know the buzz and hype that the impending iPhone launch on June 29th has generated. The world is eagerly awaiting the phone that allegedly will revolutionize the mobile phone industry. AT&T has hired an additional 2,000 temporary workers to help deal with the influx of store traffic once the doors open for the iPhone-buying crowds.

There is no denying that this phone has caught the attention of consumers (geeks and non-geeks alike), and Apple and AT&T will sell a ton of these. I, personally, am struggling to decide whether my next device should be the iPhone or the Nokia N95.

The New York Times website has an interesting article about the iPhone and what it could do for the industry and AT&T.

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Race for Next Billion Mobile Users

The race for the next billion mobile users is on and Nokia is leading the way, according to an article in Reuters. There are currently three billion mobile phone users worldwide, but this figure is expected to reach the 4 billion mark over the next three years.

Nokia holds a significant advantage in the Asia Pacific market with a 40 percent market share and a 36 percent global market share.

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